Hello and how are you this fine Thursday?

It's been rather grey and wet here in London lately so this vibrant, poolside wedding has me dreaming of sunnier climes back in California.

Zahra and Ahmed's gorgeous Indian wedding is filled with blue skies, palm trees, pretty parasols and vibrant fuchsia florals. They tied the knot in style with an outdoor ceremony overlooking the ocean and a chic indoor reception lit up in vibrant pink and purple shades at the Hyatt Huntington Beach Resort, California.

Zahra went for a pure white sari adorned with delicate, crystal beading (as opposed to the traditional red and gold bridal sari often worn at Indian weddings) complimented by a whole host of bling from her head to her toes. Her intricate henna and elegant, understated make up bring out her natural beauty.

And I simply adore the bridesmaid's multi-coloured saris and hot pink parasols!

Congratulations Zahra and Ahmed, I hope you're always as happy as you look in these beautiful photos.

Many thanks to Laura from Beautiful Day Photography for sharing these images with us today.

Here's Zahra with all the lovely details:

First Look:

We had a first look session before the ceremony; it was the perfect way to set the tone for the entire evening – just the two of us forever, making sure we were both calm and ready, smiling and so happy to see our outfits come together.

The Refreshments:

During cocktail hour we had appetizers and a signature mocktail ~ Beach Watermelon Mojito

Appetizers during cocktail hour – Coconut Shrimp with Mango-Chili Sauce, Chicken Satay with Peanut Sauce, Chinese Vegetable Spring Roll with Sweet and Sour Sauce, assorted cheese and fruit

Starter – Young Spinach Salad with Watermelon, Toasted Almonds, Feta, Lemon-Mustard Dressing

Main Course – Duet of Grilled Filet Mignon & Chicken Breast with Cabernet Demi Glace and Artichoke Tomato & Olive Relish

Dessert – 3-tier wedding cake consisting of Red Velvet cake with Bavarian Cream filling, Devil’s Food cake with Bittersweet Chocolate Mousse filling layered with Classic Buttercream icing.

The Music:

Bridal entrance - When I say I do Matthew West / Groom Entrance - Rascal Flatts Bless the Broken Road / Recessional - Walking on sunshine by katrina and the waves / Entrance to reception - Bruno Mars - Just the Way You Are / First Dance - Savage Garden - Truly, Madly, Deeply / Cake Cutting - Hum Tum by Hum Tum (HINDI) / First everyone dance - Pheli Nazaar Mein by Race (HINDI) / Final Dance -
Good Riddance (Time of Your Life) - Green Day with Lyrics

Cultural Traditions:

We had a few different cultural traditions included. First, we had a religious ceremony for just the family after the regular ceremony. Also, when entering into the reception ballroom, the groom’s mom had a quick ceremony to welcome us as a couple into the family (includes breaking clay pots and throwing flower petals). At the end of the evening, we had a ceremony where the bride’s family “gives away” their daughter. They first give gifts to the groom’s family, the bride's mom gives the couple prayers, and then the bride takes flower petals and throws it behind her as she starts her new life with her new family.

Photography: 

We had a destination wedding and picking vendors for a destination wedding is complicated, since the choices are not ones you’re aware of or have referrals for. Our photographer, Laura of Beautiful Day Photography, was the most important decision we made. When we met with Laura, she made us feel comfortable immediately. She was confident in her work, but had a laid back & very flexible attitude that lined up with our mentality. Her work showed creativity and natural talent. We would HIGHLY recommend her to ALL of our friends. She made a great impression on our families. Her pictures reflect her amazing work!

Favourite Moment:

Our favorite moment was the few minutes where we looked at each other, as if no one else was in the room, knowing that we were now a Mr. & Mrs. We had a great time dancing and meeting everyone.

Bride's Advice: 

My advice is to first have a planner who will take care of the “little” things or stressful things on the big day. When it’s time --- ENJOY every moment. You don’t want to regret getting upset over something. Enjoy it and smile! This will probably be the biggest party you’ll ever have! Also, put your money into the photographer. That’s what we have to remember the big day! The engagement session was completely worth it (so your first home doesn’t only have pictures of you in wedding clothes). You have professional pictures in a more casual place.

~ Find out more about Indian Wedding Traditions here from the lovely Kismet of Unreal Bride ~